Who and What?
Painting an army was what I mentioned the other day. Absolutely. So what’s the first step? Well, before I can pick up a brush, I first have to decide which army I’m going to collect and for what game. Models, basing and colour schemes all need to know such things.
To take the second part first, that’s easy. I’m going to collect a new army for my own 28mm fantasy rules – God of Battles. They aren’t out yet, but I know what the lists are and it’ll be good to have a shiny new army ready for when they are released. That way I can do some battle reports and suchlike to demonstrate how things work. But I’m getting ahead of myself.
To appreciate why this is a tricky question for me you might need to re-read this. Go ahead. I’ll wait here.
Back? Cool. So, that’s a starting point. How do I narrow this down? Well because it’s not out yet I haven’t got access to models for all of the ranges. Some of the armies are a bit… unusual. That’s actually a big help in this case. Whilst I’d like all the armies eventually I need to pick one to start with and being able to cross off a couple because the models aren’t to hand narrows the field. Looking at a list and being broad in my interpretation of “not got the models” I can actually discount 5 options. A further one can be put aside for now as it’s a favourite of a friend of mine and if he does an army it will be them. It’d be silly to have 2 armies between us that were both the same.
Of the four remaining armies I have probably got enough models in the lead mountain to build 90% or more of any of them. You know how it is.
I won’t go into detail about what they are as I told Foundry I’d keep such things under wraps till they were ready. Partly for that reason I’ve gone for the greenskins as they will be familiar to all. To be fair, I’m not sure how else I’d have picked between them.
Other Army Building Thoughts
It’s probably also worth mentioning at this stage that I am more than a little picky about models. For example, I don’t build armies with duplicate models in.* Yes, this does make life harder, but then it also makes the army look better (I think), so you pays your money and takes your choice.
I’ve built, painted and sold a load of armies over the years and have come to the conclusion that I don’t want to have to go through that rigmarole many more times. From now on, when I paint an army I will make it one that won’t need replacing. If that means I spend a bit more money and time doing it right then so be it. I’d rather get it right than have the feeling that I cut some corners when I look at them. I’ve done that before and I hated it. Every time I put that particular Undead army on the table I was willing the enemy to kill them just so I could put them back in their cases, out of sight. I doubt that made me play better.
That bilious army was an experiment, and as you follow my adventures in army painting I’m sure I’ll have a few more. I do like to tinker. Sometimes it is a horrible mess and other times it works brilliantly. All part of the learning curve.
I’ve also had an idea about bases, which is to see whether it’s possible to use clear bases for all the models in an army. Crazy? Possibly. My thinking here is based on the ideal I have in mind. In a perfect world, I’d like a tabletop wargame to look like a diorama that can be moved about. Very, very often the basing of armies is completely different from the table they fight over, separating them visually when they should look like they belong. I’m fighting back a rant about terrain, but let me just say that terrain and the way that models interact with it is a sadly neglected topic. If the models had clear bases then perhaps they would blend in better. Worth a try, I reckon. If it works it would also have the benefit of them blending in better with every tabletop, making it well worth making more specific model scenery for different battles, themes or campaigns. No more snow based models on green tables, or vice versa. It’s an idea. If it doesn’t work, I have a plan B 🙂
Choosing the models is next. I’ve picked a game and an army – next time I’ll look at which models to conscript. Greenskins are blessed with a great deal of variety from a plethora of companies and there is a quite bewildering array of options to choose between.
*This is also a convenient excuse to do a bunch of conversions, which I enjoy.